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Institute for Writers Courses

Charter Oak State College building

Credits Available with Dates Valid

Adult Writing Division Correspondence Courses (formerly Long Ridge Writers Group)

  • Basics of Writing Stories and Articles for Publication, October 1991 through October 2022: 4 credits, upper division level
  • Breaking Into Print, Summer 1989 through October 2022: 7 credits, upper division level, distributed as 6 credits in Creative Writing and 1 credit in Manuscript Marketing
  • Shape, Write, and Sell Your Novel, 2006 through October 2022: 5 credits, upper division level, distributed as 4 credits in Shape, Write, and Sell Your Novel and 1 credit in Manuscript Marketing

Children’s Writing Division Correspondence Courses (formerly Institute of Children's Literature)

  • Beyond the Basics: Creating and Selling Short Stories and Articles, June 1993 through October 2022: 6 credits, upper division level
  • Special Publishing Course, 1978 through October 2022: 3 credits, lower division level
  • Writing and Selling Children's Books, 1987 through October 2022: 6 credits, upper division level
  • Writing for Children and Teenagers, Summer 1989 through October 2022: 6 credits, upper division level, distributed as 5 credits in Creative Writing and 1 credit in Manuscript Marketing
  • Writing for Magazines, 1978 through October 2022: 3 credits, lower division level

Source of Records

Institute for Writers; Madison, CT

About the Reviewed Program

Institute For Writers (IFW) is a writing school that teaches writing for publication by the distance learning method.  The primary instructional objective is to teach adult students how to develop their writing skills to meet publisher’s standards, with the belief that the one-on-one instruction by correspondence most closely replicates the relationship between editor and writer.  IFW students are primarily adults with a wide range of abilities, goals, and time available for course study.  The IFW mission is to deliver the highest level of individualized instruction to each student specific to his or her needs.  Students complete the courses with at least one manuscript suitable for submission to a publisher and will have a foundation of writing skills and discipline they can continue to use on their own after they have completed their course.  IFW began as The Writer’s Institute in 1969 with one course, Writing for Children and Teenagers.  They now have three basic courses and two advanced courses in the Children’s Writing Division, and two basic courses and one advanced course in the Adult Writing Division.

The Institute of Children's Literature was founded in 1969 by a group of writers and editors with the objective of offering the most complete and personalized instruction available in creative writing and manuscript marketing for children's literature.  The correspondence training program enables aspiring authors anywhere to participate.  The operating premise of the program is to give beginners the benefits of a mentor's hard-won knowledge and experience and school them in the special skills necessary to succeed in the competitive field of publication. 

The Institute for Writers (formerly The Long Ridge Writers Group) was founded in 1989 by the management of the Institute of Children's Literature.  The purpose of the program is to train writers to be successful in the highly diverse field of writing for novels, nonfiction, and articles that serve the adult reader.  The operating premise is to match an aspiring writer with a seasoned professional writer or editor in a program designed to develop skills in creative writing and manuscript marketing. 

The programs are structured with flexibility in mind - students learn at their own pace, suiting the needs of their schedules, in the privacy of their own homes.  The cornerstone of each program is the one-on-one instruction they receive from their mentors who are professional writers or editors.

Applying for the Credit

Have your training sponsor submit your transcript or record to the Registrar to apply for the credit.

Course Descriptions

Adult Writing Division Correspondence Courses

Basics of Writing Stories and Articles for Publication, October 1991 through June 2017: 4 credits, upper division level
This course teaches the fundamentals of writing fiction and non-fiction for submission to a wide range of magazines published for adult readers. Students write and revise one story or article to submit to a magazine. Students write and revise four articles or stories to submit to magazines. Students taking this course would not take Breaking into Print (assessed in March, 1994), which is a longer version of this course.

Breaking Into Print, Summer 1989 through June 2017: 7 credits, upper division level, distributed as 6 credits in Creative Writing and 1 credit in Manuscript Marketing
This course is designed to teach students to write and market fiction and non-fiction, or magazine articles for the adult reader. Students define personal writing goals, learn techniques of good writing, develop the ability to direct writing to specific readers, identify a writing niche for potential writing projects, then undertake a project that matches skills and interests to editorial needs. Students write and revise seven articles or stories to submit to magazines.

Shape, Write, and Sell Your Novel, 2006 through June 2017: 5 credits, upper division level, distributed as 4 credits in Shape, Writing, and Sell Your Novel, and 1 credit in Manuscript Marketing
An advanced level course for the student who has completed one basic course with Institute For Writers (formerly Long Ridge Writers Group) or the Institute of Children's Literature. This course teaches the process of crafting a novel, starting with the solid foundation of a saleable idea; finding the genre that matches the idea; creating a chapter-by-chapter outline, writing and revising the first three chapters; researching and identifying a market; and developing a submission packet targeted to an appropriate editor or agent. The submission packet includes a synopsis of the entire novel and a query letter written to an editor or agent of the student's choice. Students learn the process of plotting developing a working outline of their book, and creating realistic, three-dimensional characters. They acquire an understanding of subplots, the role of conflict, and the nature of a dramatic arc. Students also achieve a clear working knowledge of the book publishing industry.

Children’s Writing Division Correspondence Courses

Beyond the Basics: Creating and Selling Short Stories and Articles, June 1993 through June 2017: 6 credits, upper division level
An advanced level course for the student who has completed one basic course with the Institute and is recommended by the previous course instructor. The course teaches the development, writing, and revision of three articles and/or stories suitable for submission to current children's publications. The emphasis is on targeting writing to editorial needs- including advanced work in researching, planning, writing, self-editing, and creating submissions directed to meet editorial specifications of children's magazines.

Special Publishing Course, 1978 through Summer 2017: 3 credits, lower division level
This course is designed to guide the student in the planning, writing, and revision of at least one manuscript (fiction or non-fiction) suitable for submission to a current children's publication, The student defines personal writing goals and learns the basic techniques of writing fiction and non-fiction. Additionally, the student acquires skills to research magazines (for children through young adults) and target manuscripts to meet editorial guidelines. This is a shorter version of the course Writing for Children and Teenagers, which was assessed in March 1994.

Writing and Selling Children's Books, 1987 through June 2017: 6 credits, upper division level
This is an advanced level course for the student who has completed one basic course with The Institute and is recommended by the previous course instructor. The course guides the student through the process of defining personal writing goals, idea development, planning, writing, and revising a fiction or non-fiction book targeted to a specific readership (children through young adult). Students research editorial needs of the children's book market and submit submission materials and the book manuscript to a specific publisher.

Writing for Children and Teenagers, Summer 1989 through June 2017: 6 credits in Writing for Children and Teens, awarded at 5 credits, upper division level, in Creative Writing and 1 credit, upper division level, in Manuscript Marketing
This course is designed to teach students how to write and market children's stories, articles, and books. The student defines personal writing goals, learns techniques of good writing, develops the ability to direct writing to specific readers, and undertakes projects that match skill interests and editorial needs of publishers of material for children.

Writing for Magazines, 1978 through June 2017: 3 credits, lower division level
This course is designed to guide the student in the planning, writing, and revision of at least one manuscript (fiction or non-fiction) suitable for submission to a current children's publication. The student defines personal writing goals and learns the basic techniques of writing fiction and non-fiction. Additionally, the student acquires skills to research magazines (for children through young adults) and targets manuscripts to meet editorial guidelines. This is a shorter version of the course Writing for Children and Teenagers, which was assessed in March 1994. Students taking this course would not take the Special Publishing Course.